Speaker Date Topic
Mark Romig Jul 24, 2019
New Orleans tourism

A native of New Orleans, Mark is the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC), the city’s official leisure travel promotion agency responsible for enhancing the local economy and the tourism industry through effective marketing and promotional programs. Since Mark’s arrival in June 2011, he has led the organization and the city’s domestic tourism promotion efforts, resulting in annual year over year increases in visitation and visitor spending. In 2017, more than 17 million visitors traveled to New Orleans, spending more than $8.5 billion (DSKA annual survey). Mark is also the Stadium Announcer for the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. His late father, Jerry served in the same role for 44 years and 446 consecutive games.  In addition, Mark is a member of the Board of Directors of Fidelity Bank, headquartered in New Orleans.



In January of 2019, Mark was honored with the Ella Brennan Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Award by the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience (NOWFE), which recognizes one individual each year that has made a lifetime commitment to the hospitality industry through extraordinary leadership, personal and professional accomplishments and philanthropic contributions to the community. The award is named for restaurateur legend Ella Brennan. Her deep passion and commitment have made a significant and longstanding impact on the New Orleans hospitality industry. The award’s past recipients include chef Paul Prudhomme, philanthropist Bill Goldring, chef Leah Chase, restaurateurs Drago and Klara Cvitanovich, Audubon leader Ron Forman, local restaurateur Ralph Brennan, and celebrity chef and philanthropist Emeril Lagasse.


For several years, Mark served as an adjunct faculty member at Tulane’s University College. Mark also volunteers as an auctioneer and emcee for non-profit organizations and related events in the region.


Mark is accredited (APR) by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).



Sandy Rosenthal Jul 31, 2019

Sandy Rosenthal founded Levees.org with her 15 yeard old son Stanford, in Lafayette, Louisiana while she and her family were evacuated from New Orleans in the fall of 2005. Ever since the levee failures and flooding during Hurricane Katrina, Sandy has worked nonstop to separate the facts from the fairy tale. In sustainable ways, she has driven a campaign to ensure that the narrative portrays the flood event as due to the negligent acts of man. The nonprofit has over 25,000 supporters and chapters in five states in addition to a strong social media following.


Rosenthal is putting final touches on her 140,000 manuscript on why she founded Levees.org and what, as a group, was accomplished.


Last month, Levees.org unveiled the Flooded House Museum at the breach site of the London Avenue Canal that tells the story of the levee  breaches. Levees.org hosts an annual guided Levee Breach Bike Tour every May. These are just a few of the many ways that Levees.org separates fact from fiction.


For those efforts, Rosenthal has been honored with numerous awards most recently including Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year from Tulane University, but also Most Influential Woman from Mount Holyoke College and the Hall of Fame Award of the Louisiana Center for Women and Government.  


Rosenthal, an advocate for the 55% of the American population living in counties protected by levees, blogged for the Huffington Post for a decade. Rosenthal has been married to Steve Rosenthal since 1979 and has three adult children: Aliisa, Mark and Stanford and one granddaughter, Ellie. She also has two small dogs named Twinkie and Cupcake.

Emily Ford Aug 07, 2019
Preservation of cemetaries
Preservation of cemetaries
Emily Ford is a preservationist and restoration mason.  She owns Oak and Laurel Cemetery Preservation, LLC, and has worked in the New Orleans area for eight years restoring tombs and monuments, researching historic cemetery landscapes, and working in advocacy for tomb and coping owners.
Vicki Sherrouse is one of a group of Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 plot owners that has recently organized as a voice of advocacy and education for the place our families are buried and to address 
serious, escalating problems there. She is a native New Orleanian and a former elementary, middle school and Special Education teacher in the city and Elsewhere.
Peter Kovacs Aug 14, 2019
The Times-Picayune and The Advocate
The Times-Picayune and The Advocate

Peter Kovacs is editor of The Times-Picayune and The Advocate. He came to Louisiana from Alabama in 1983, and has been an editor in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, where he has had a hand in five Pulitzer Prizes.

He was managing editor at The Times-Picayune until 2012, when he was laid off as part Advance Publications’ move to a three-day-a-week newspaper. He joined The Advocate in Baton Rouge, and launched The New Orleans Advocate to give the city a daily home-delivered newspaper. The competition between The New Orleans Advocate and The Times-Picayune ended this year when Georges Media purchased The Times-Picayune and the two newsrooms combined.

Kovacs is a graduate of Brown University and is married with two sons.

Jason Dawsey Aug 28, 2019
WWII Historian
WWII Historian

Jason Dawsey is a Research Historian at The National World War II Museum’s Institute for the Study of War and Democracy, where he writes narratives of American service members from World War II. A native of Columbia, Mississippi, Jason received his PhD in 2013 from the University of Chicago. He taught at the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Beyond his research on the Second World War, his interests include the history of the European Left, debates about the impact of technology on modern life, and the history of Holocaust awareness. He co-edited (with Guenter Bischof and Bernhard Fetz) The Life and Work of Gunther Anders: Émigré, Iconoclast, Philosopher, Man of Letters and is the author of "After Hiroshima: Gunther Anders and the History of Anti-Nuclear Critique," in Understanding the Imaginary War: Culture, Thought, and Nuclear Conflict, 1945-1990 (edited by Benjamin Ziemann and Matthew Grant). He also is a frequent contributor to the Museum’s website and its Service on Celluloid podcast series.


Jeff Duncan Sep 04, 2019
Talking Sports
Talking Sports

Jeff Duncan is a columnist for The Athletic New Orleans and a regular contributor to FOX-8 Sports in New Orleans. Before joining The Athletic, he was a columnist and reporter at NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, where he was a member of the staff that won two Pulitzer Prizes for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina. He has been honored four times as the Columnist of the Year by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association and is the author of two books on the New Orleans Saints: Tales from the Saints Sideline and From Bags to Riches. Prior to his tenure in New Orleans, he worked at USA Today, The St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times and The Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal.

Gubernatorial debate (tentative) Sep 11, 2019
Jeff Dorson Sep 18, 2019
Humane Society of Louisiana
Humane Society of Louisiana
The Humane Society of Louisiana is a registered charity and strives to improve the welfare of all animals. The group operates the Enoch J. Donaldson Animal Sanctuary, located in Mt. Hermon, Louisiana and manages two other sanctuaries that are home to more than a dozen horses and an assortment of formerly abused, orphaned, or neglected pigs, goats, a donkey, and various cats and dogs. The group helps to enforce the animal cruelty laws and ordinances that protect animals and works closely with law enforcement agencies throughout the state. The group also transports more than 1000 animals to new homes each year. The group has been featured on CNN, The New York Times, and NPR Radio.
NO MEETING Oct 09, 2019
FIELDTRIP - Tour of the NEW Louisiana Children's M Oct 16, 2019 12:00 PM
FIELDTRIP - Tour of the NEW Louisiana Children's Museum
FIELDTRIP - Tour of the NEW Louisiana Children's Museum

Our weekly meeting will take place at the New Louisiana Children's Museum in City Park.

Box Lunches will be available at noon, and we will reconvene at 12:30 for a short tour of the new facility.

Please RSVP, so we can order an accurate number of lunches.


NO MEETING Nov 27, 2019
NO MEETING Dec 25, 2019
NO MEETING Jan 01, 2020